Coffee FAQ

This FAQ is dedicated to the coffee and all that goes with it. There are several newsgroups in which these topics may be of relevance, including,, and alt.drugs.caffeine. I welcome any and all contributions to this FAQ. If you do not agree with the info in here please let me know or write an article for the FAQ. If you feel you can explain something better than I have, by all means rewrite the article and send it in.

Brewing the Ultimate Drink

A few tips and guidelines for getting the most out of your morning coffee, starting with the coffee beans and touching on brewing methods, ratiosm temperatures, water quality and other factors.

What is the best temperature to brew coffee?
Is water important?
Coffee bean quality
What is the difference between arabica and robusta coffee beans?
What are the best coffees?
Just how much ground coffee do I need for x amount of coffee?

Coffee Beans

Delve into the world of single origin Arabica coffee beans. Coffee beans from different parts of the world all have different characteristics, with some regions sharing specific flavor qualities.

About Coffee Beans
What are Bourbon Coffee Beans?
Espresso Beans
Best Coffees in the World

Preparation Methods

What’s the right way for your to make your coffee? Read up on different methods.

Drip coffee
French Press aka Press Pot aka Cafetiere aka Bodum
Espresso Machines and Makers
Vacuum Coffee Makers
Ibrik aka cezve
Moka Pot aka Mocha Pot aka Stove Top


How many ounces in a shot of espresso?
How to Pull an Espresso Shot
What are the most popular Espresso Drinks?

Peripherals and Storage

The lesser considered parts of your coffee experience.

Proper care of coffee makers…
How to clean an espresso machine
How to store coffee beans?
What kind of grinder should I buy?
What is the best way to clean my coffee bean grinder?
Vacuum Bottles and Carafes for storing brewed coffee

Home Coffee Roasting

Want to try your hand at roasting green coffee beans?

Why roast green coffee beans at home?
How do I roast green coffee beans at home?
More home coffee roasting information
Green Coffee Bean Vendors

Do it Yourself

Growing coffee trees
Processing raw coffee beans


Often asked questions.

Espresso & Coffee Bean Guide
How do you spell Espresso?
What is a Kopi Luak coffee?
How much caffeine is in decaf?
Why do some people put egg shell in coffee grounds?
When did companies first start to make tinned coffee?
What is “white coffee”?
Does coffee cause cancer?

Coffee Drink Recipes

Learn to make some new drinks, find out the most popular espresso drinks and some twists on your old favorites.

Making chocolate covered espresso beans
Caffe Latte
Turkish Coffee
Irish Coffee
Thai Iced Coffee
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Vanilla Sugar
Italian Soda


Spice up your coffee with a few changes.

General Flavoring Notes
Chicory Coffee
Italian Syrups
Other coffee Flavorings
What are the Ingredients in Whole Earth Sweetener?

Coffee Terms

Jargon has you confused? Wonder no more!

Espresso drink names and terms
Roast Names
Roast Related Terms
Varietal and Processing-Related Terms
A few more terms
Aged Coffee beans


List of Contributors
Trade Associations

Caffeine FAQ

This FAQ file is a collaboration of information from numerous sources. I have made an effort to corroborate as much of this info as is possible but some info may be incorrect or misleading. If you find such info please let me know and I will do further research to find the truth. For this and other reasons please understand that I am not advising you to take any action based on this file. In the realm of medicine I am specifically recommending seeking the advice of a competent medical care giver. I am not giving medical or related advice.

This FAQ is dedicated to all beverages and products that contain caffeine; including tea, coffee, chocolate, mate, caffeinated soft drinks, caffeinated pills, coffee beans, etc.

There are several newsgroups in which these topics may be of relevance, including alt.drugs.caffeine,,, and

I welcome any and all contributions to this FAQ. If you do not agree with the info in here please let me know or write an article for the FAQ. If you feel you can explain something better than I have by all means rewrite the article and send it in.

Important: This information was excerpted from several sources, no claims are made to its accuracy. The FAQ mantainer is not a medical doctor and cannot vouch for the accuracy of this information.


The Chemistry of Caffeine and related products

How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?
How much caffeine there is in X coffee?
Chemically speaking, what is caffeine?
Is it true that tea has no caffeine/What is theine, theobromine, etc?
Where can I find a gif of the caffeine molecule?
Is it true that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee?
How does caffeine taste?
How much theobromine/theophylline there is in …?
Does dark roast coffee have less caffeine than light roast?
How do I measure caffeine content at home?
Is there a legal limit for caffeine content?

Caffeine and your Health

What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?
How can I cut my caffeine intake?
What happens when you overdose?
Effects of caffeine on pregnant women.
Caffeine and Osteoporosis (Calcium loss)
Studies on the side-effects of caffeine…
Caffeine and your metabolism


How do you pronounce mate?
How much caffeine is in decaf coffee?


Chocolate covered espresso beans
How to make your own chocolate
NOTE: for Coffee Recipes check the Coffee FAQ


List of Contributors


What are the Ingredients in Whole Earth Sweetener?

Whole Earth Sweetener has shown up at Starbucks location, leading people to look into the sweetner and the company itself. It’s a blend of multiple sweetener ingredients, and appears to be well balanced without a bad aftertaste.

Visually, it very much resembles regular sugar with a mixture of large and smaller white crystals.

  • Erythritol
  • Fructose
  • Chicory Root Fiber
  • Stevia Leaf Extract
  • Monk Fruit Extract

Each single serve packet contains 2g of ingredients that is supposed to be equivalent to 2 tsp of sugar. It’s composed of 0g fat, 2g carbohydrates (1g sugar, 1g sugar alcohol) and 0g protein.

Certified Non-GMO, Parve Kosher. More information can be obtained from the Whole Earth Sweetener Company. phone at 1-800-824-2334.

Have you tried Whole Earth Sweetener? Leave your review below.

Whole Earth Sweetener Reviews

Most reviews tend to indicate that the taste is good – no artificial or chemical tastes and very little after-taste. Negative reviews are geared more towards a misleading advertising – the premise of it containing fructose and erythritol runs counter to most peoples perception of it being “natural”. This may make it unsuitable for those with certain dietary restrictions.

Best Low Acid Coffee for Your Stomach

It’s no secret that some peoples’ stomachs get upset by drinking black coffee, or sometimes any coffee at all. There’s some misconception about why this occurs and how to best deal with it while still enjoying that morning cup.

Dark Roast vs. Light Roast for your stomach

There’s a misconception that dark roasted coffee is more “acidic” (on the pH scale) than light roasted coffee, which has no basis in fact. This is likely due to the increase in bitter flavor as a coffee is roasted longer, as well as more intense coffee flavor, which people assume means there’s a higher concentration of other negative compounds.

In fact, the longer a coffee is roasted, the more the chlorogenic acids that are present in green coffee beans are destroyed and transformed into other compounds, making the coffee less “acidic”. The acidity of coffee has no relation to pH level however.

A research study has shown that dark roasted coffee is actually better for your stomach.

“This discovery is going to help a lot of people who suffer from coffee sensitivity,” say Veronika Somoza, Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in Austria, and Thomas Hofmann, Ph.D. from the Technische Universität MÜnchen in Germany, who conducted the study.

Evidence was actually found that another chemical, N-methylpyridinium (NMP), was a byproduct of roasting, and actually had the effect of reducing stomach acid product. This chemical has higher concentrations (up to 2x as much) in dark roasts than other roasts.


You might also be interested in The Five Best Coffees in the World.

Decaf Coffee has lower acidity

Caffeine is partially responsible for the production of stomach acids when drinking coffee. It was found that two decaffeinating methods – using ethyl acetate and dichloromethane – legitimately did reduce the response of stomach-acid producing cells. This isn’t great news for those of us that still rely on our morning dose of caffeine, but is great news for those that simply enjoy the ritual of a cup here and there.

Dairy Alternatives

Unfortunately not everyone can consume dairy, and adding a milk or heavy cream isn’t a solution for some. In these cases, milk alternatives can be used with varying levels of effectiveness – drinks like almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk are all great options for mixing with coffee and espresso. There are even some options for rice milk and soy milk available on the market.

While you can absolutely use something off the shelf at a grocery store, these aren’t formulated especially for steaming or being mixed with coffee. For that, you’ll need a brand like Pacific Barista that

On another note: Almond milk frequently has calcium carbonate added to bring the calcium contents up to the level of regular milk, which is what antacids like tums are made for.

The Five Best Coffees in the World

Are you in search of the perfect cup of coffee? Want to know what are the best coffees in the world? Well then you will need the very best coffee beans.

They will likely come from Arabica coffee plants that are grown at extremely high elevations, and it is crucial that the coffee cherry (the fruits of the coffee plant which contain the coffee beans) are harvested at their perfect peak ripeness.

Also important is the the processing and roasting of the coffee – great care must be taken to preserve the fine tastes and aromas. Then you will be well on your way to enjoying the best coffee in the world.

Okay, Let’s Get Started: The World’s Best Coffees:

Tanzania Peaberry Coffee – Cultivated high on Mt. Kilimanjaro, this gourmet coffee is truly one of the world’s best. Known for the delicious fruit tones in its acidity, Tanzania Peaberry exhibits many subtle tastes including black currant, pineapple, citrus, coconut and chocolate, and with a wonderful sweetness in the lingering aftertaste. The complexity of this fine coffee is best revealed with a medium roast.

Sumatra Mandheling Coffee – With a full body and complex taste, this coffee is named after the people of north Sumatra called Mandailing and is grown on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The coffee is intense and very earthy exhibiting a very herbal aroma and an ample acidity for a vibrant coffee with sweet notes of chocolate and licorice. Though Mandheling is dry processed, the method includes washing the dried husk of the coffee cherry (fruit) in hot water which provides a more uniform appearance of the coffee beans than the typical dry processed coffee, and likely contributes to the coffee’s fine flavor that ranks it among the best coffee in the world. Try a Dark Roast or a Medium-Dark Roast to accentuate sweet taste and earthiness.

Old Java Coffee – Aged and monsooned, this gourmet Arabica coffee is grown on the old colonial estates located on the east end of Java Island in Indonesia. After harvest the green coffee beans (which have been milled but not yet roasted) are exposed to the region’s moist, warm air throughout the whole of the rainy season. This monsooning can be as long as three years and the result is a stronger taste and milder acidity. The coffee beans also become lighter brown in color. If you like this you will also like Old Brown Java Coffee and Old Government Coffee, two more premium gourmet coffees grown on the old colonial estates of Java and respected among the best coffees in the world.

Kenya AA Coffee – On the high plateaus of Kenya some of the world’s best coffee is cultivated nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. The finest beans are graded Kenya AA and produce a full-bodied coffee with a wonderful richness and very pleasing acidity making it one of the world’s truly exceptional premium coffees. Enjoy the delicious fragrance emanating floral tones followed by a finish revealing notes of wine and berry.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee – If you want a sophisticated coffee this is it. Silky and smooth, it will delight your palate with its complexity and rich body. The fine balance of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee has led to its nickname as the quintessential cup of coffee and clearly among the best coffees in the world. With a vibrant acidity and virtually no bitterness, this coffee is very clean with floral notes in the aroma. This is a wet processed coffee.

Notable Mentions

Coffee is a very personal, subjective experience and not everyone will share these tastes. That’s why we’ve compiled some bonus coffees to try!

Sumatra Lintong Coffee – Cultivated near Lake Toba in Sumatra, Lintong is known for its delightful sweetness along with a deep earthiness and generally very low acidity yet a complex aroma.

Ethiopian Harrar Coffee – This spectacular gourmet coffee is dry-processed with an exciting spiciness and wildness, pungent and rich. It’s grown at around 5,000 feet above sea level and harvested with care in the high mountains of Ethiopia. The Harrars exhibit notes of dry red wine with a wonderfully resonating fruity boldness, while the acidity of Ethiopian Harrars reveals floral tones. The coffee is very bright in the cup, often quite intense, and the aroma is quite heady. Delicious notes of jasmine are revealed in the lingering finish. To learn about the importance of coffee in Ethiopian culture see Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

Guatemala Antigua Coffee – This amazing premium coffee has the fine qualities of a gourmet Guatemala coffee with a full body and the fine qualities that come from growing Arabica coffee above 4,600 feet where it thrives. Exhibiting a rich flavor and velvety quality that delights the palate, Guatemala Antigua coffee is best when you give a Dark Roast to the coffee beans as it brings out the pleasant smoky flavors in the brewed cup.

India Monsooned Malabar Coffee – Enjoy this coffee’s spicy tastes including cardamom and nutmeg as well as clove, pepper and even delicious suggestions of tropical fruit. Why is this one of the best coffees in all of the whole wide world? Because these unique coffee beans are monsooned by leaving them in open-roof silos so they are exposed to the moist winds during monsoon season. The coffee beans exhibit a wonderful sweetness and often reveal intense loamy and woody and sensations. The monsooning also weakens (mutes) the beans‘ acidity. This is a very polarizing coffee that leaves people either loving it or hating it.

The India Monsooned Malabar coffee beans are grown in the southern part of India and this is a truly gourmet coffee respected for its mild body and acidity along with its unique taste.

Sulawesi Toraja Coffee – Expansive in its rich tastes and full body, this is a multi-dimensional coffee respected in the world of gourmet coffee. Known for its fine balance and vibrant yet low-toned acidity, Sulawesi Toraja coffee is among the most respected of Sumatran coffees and exhibits even more exciting earthiness than Java Arabica coffee. Enjoy the dark chocolate and ripe fruit notes along with a rustic sweetness that really comes out in the dark roast. This is a deep and brooding coffee is one of the world’s best in part because it benefits from the Giling Basah wet-hull method of processing that creates chaff-free green coffee beans.

Mocha Java Coffee – For centuries a respected premium gourmet Arabica coffee with a pleasing wildness and lively intensity, Mocha Java is in fact a happy accident of history – sailing ships from Java Island used to stop in the port of Mocha and the coffee beans got mixed in the hulls of the ships – read the whole story in the See the World’s Best History of Coffee.

Mocha Java combines Arabian (Yemen) Mocha coffee and Indonesian Java Arabica coffee to create the world’s most famous coffee blend. What makes it so special is that the coffees complement each other, with the Yemen Mocha providing a lively intensity and pleasant wildness and the Java providing a clean, smooth quality. The result is a smooth, clean and well-balanced yet very complex cup of brewed coffee.

Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee – Grown in Costa Rica’s interior mountains this is a complex of coffee with a body that is quite heavy along with a complex aroma. This is just one of many fine coffees of Costa Rica which are generally known for their robust flavor and crisp acidity. The country’s high-grown coffees are among the world’s best coffees and respected for having great body along with a fruity, bright acidity making the brewed coffee clean and crisp with a delightful taste.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee – Wet processed and cultivated around 6,000 feet above sea level, this is clearly one of the world’s best coffees. With a vibrant acidity and intense, clean taste, Ethiopian Yirgacheffee is a complex coffee that reveals wonderful floral tones in the aroma and sometimes toasted coconut. Also nice is the chocolaty and sometimes nutty aftertaste. A medium-dark roast or dark roast is good for Ethiopian Yirgacheffee if you like a heavy and sweet coffee, but if you want to enhance the acidity and prefer a delicate coffee then try a medium roast.

Yemen Mocha is a wild and full-bodied dry processed coffee revealing deep, earthy tones along with a winey acidity and musky fruitiness. The taste has suggestions of sweet spice notes including cinnamon and cardamom, while the aftertaste reveals notes of chocolate. Try a Dark Roast to bring out the chocolate and fruit notes. The two primary varieties of Yemen Mocha are Sanani and Mattari. Sanani is known for its fruitiness and fine balance, while Mattari is respected for its heavy body and chocolate tones.

Costa Rica Monte Crisol – With sweet suggestions of blueberry and a silky body, Monte Crisol also offers a buttery finish and a nice crispness in its acidity. Try a Medium-Dark Roast to bring out the fruity brightness and you will appreciate why this coffee is rated among the best in the world.

Java Arabica Coffee – This is another great wet processed Arabica coffee and it is grown on the island of Java in Indonesia atop the Ijen Plateau which is about 1,400 meters above sea level and one of the world’s prime coffee growing regions. The reason that Java Arabica is considered one of the best coffees in the world is because it combines a heavy body with a relatively low to medium acidity and a flavor that may be described as rustic and with an aftertaste that is herbaceous and lingers nicely. A slight earthiness makes this coffee very interesting on the palate!

Hawaii Kona Coffee – This fine Arabica coffee is grown on the volcanic slopes of Kauaʻi in a prime growing area created by the “Kona Coffee Belt.” Kona coffee is known for its complex aroma as well as its light and delicate taste. The coffee is very well-balanced and displays a medium body and cheerful, bright acidity along with an aromatic finish.